Today in history: The Flag speech

On this day in 1945, Moshe Sharett delivered the famous Zionist “Flag Speech.”

At the outbreak of World War II, the Jewish community in Palestine enlisted in aid of the British war effort against the Germans. This mobilization became serious with the establishment of the Jewish Brigade, a brigade in the British army composed of the residents. The brigade was sent to the Italian front – a secondary front relative to the others, but still one of value, where the Allied armies were characterized by a mixture of different minorities (American and British armies, along with the Polish ‘Anders Army’, a Brazilian expeditionary force, the Greek-Exile Army, Indian, Australian forces, South Africans and Canadians – a total of about a million soldiers). In early April 1945, Moshe Sharett, the Foreign Relations minister of the Yishuv, visited the Brigade on the front line – where there was a ceremony of raising the flag of the Zionist movement (and later of the state) as the flag of the Brigade; in a speech he made, Sharett emphasized the importance of revenge on the Germans and the connection of the Yishuv to his sons on the front, in order to raise morale. Three days later, Allied forces began a new offensive in the front, during which northern Italy was occupied, with advances on the other fronts leading to the surrender of Germany one month later. The soldiers of the Brigade were of great importance as the backbone of the Yishuv’s (and the IDF) defense forces in preparation for the war that was expected to come to the Land of Israel two and a half years later.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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